Yes, Folders in SharePoint do suck

Like many people, one of the things I found a little hard to adjust to was not using folders in SharePoint. I mean, you can, and they do have their place, but metadata and views is much more useful. However, now when I go out to customers I notice that a lot of them have a lot of difficulty letting go of using folders for everything. Continue reading “Yes, Folders in SharePoint do suck”

Yes, Folders in SharePoint do suck

Folder based Navigation in SharePoint

We have a customer who wants a fairly simple site – all it needs to be is a heirarchy of web pages.

Unfortunately, SharePoint Publishing features don’t really do this very well. Yes, in a document library it does breadcrumbs as you navigate through folders – but you can’t really do that with Pages. For a start, you can’t put folders in pages libraries!

So, instead, they’ve got this deep structure of sites – just to get the navigation. The site permissions and features are the same at all levels. This is a real administrative pain – especially if want to change the definition of the content types used in the pages libraries throughout the site.

What would be better would be to have navigation providers which show Folders in the navigation – so that they’re exposed in the left navigation (and maybe the top – I’m not sure). You could then enable folders in your page library. Users would then be able to navigate down through folders and pages. I guess there is a question as to which page should be the ‘default’ for a folder (obviously the folder itself isn’t a page that can be shown) – but perhaps something like just having a convention that the page ‘default’ is shown would be enough. Or maybe make it part of the metadata for a ‘Publishing Folder’ content type.
This would mean that the whole deep heirarchy and dozens of sites my customer is using could be dealt with in one single site. I can’t quite believe that nobody had this idea when they were planning the WCM features for MOSS. I don’t even think it’d be that hard – I just hope that I get a chance to implement this sometime…

Folder based Navigation in SharePoint

SharePoint Folders Ending in _FILE

Here’s an interesting thing a colleague noticed – SharePoint folders with names ending in _FILE are renamed to end in _FILE_. In the image below the names and titles were the same when I typed them in:

Notice the line for A_FILE. Name and title are now different. No idea why that happens. I’m guessing that SharePoint uses folders with a suffix of _FILE for it’s own internal stuff…

SharePoint Folders Ending in _FILE